Before he was the star of a hilarious series of Old Spice commercials, Terry Crews played for the championship Western Michigan University Broncos in Kalamazoo, where we are taping the show this week. He went on to play in the NFL and have a successful acting career, including roles in Everybody Hates Chris, Idiocracy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
We've invited Crews to play a game called "They've having all-you-can-eat shrimp cocktail buffet on the Lido deck." Three questions about cruise ships, the floating behemoths that bring all the comforts of a New Jersey mall to the world's waters.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
And now the game where we invite cool people on to answer questions about lame things. Terry Crews was a player in the NFL who's gone on to a successful career as an actor, famous for his roles in "Idiocracy" and now "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and a hilarious series of commercials for Old Spice.
But before all that, he was a star player for the championship Western Michigan University Broncos right here in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
SAGAL: Terry Crews, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
TERRY CREWS: What's up, Western Michigan?
CREWS: This is awesome, man. You know, I lost my virginity right there in Zimmerman Hall.
CREWS: That's how much Western Michigan means to me.
SAGAL: Terry, do you want us to send somebody over to look for it?
CREWS: That's long gone, man. That thing's been buried, let me just tell you that.
SAGAL: So you're a Michigan guy. You grew up, where, in Flint, right?
CREWS: Flint, Michigan, all the way, brother, born and raised.
SAGAL: And you came to Western Michigan. And you were a football player on the team that went all the way to a championship season, right, back in what was it, '90, '89, around there?
CREWS: Yes, 1989. You know, first of all, I walked on in '87 and finally got a scholarship and the whole thing and worked my way on the team. And we were one of the first championship teams to ever hit Western Michigan.
SAGAL: So really, you were not recruited? I mean, this is a football school, but, I mean, you just walked on and said I want to be on the team, and they said ha, they laughed at you.
CREWS: I had an art scholarship. I actually had an art scholarship.
SAGAL: Wait a minute.
BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT: That's how you lose your virginity here.
SAGAL: Now I want to ask you, it turns out different people know you for different things. There are like fans who know you from the movie "Idiocracy," where you play the president of the United States. There are people who watch "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," and there are a lot of people who know you from this amazing series of very funny Old Spice commercials.
CREWS: Yeah, power.
CREWS: I've got to say that. I just have to say that at least once. It's so weird because I have - I do, I have fans in different areas, it's so crazy. I go to the mall, it's "White Chicks," you know what I mean, and I'm like...
SAGAL: Oh yeah, the movie, it's not like you're saying white chicks are your fans; you were in the movie "White Chicks."
CREWS: Yeah, yeah. I'm like no, the movie, the movie. But the thing is that, you know, I get fathers coming up to me. They're like how do you - how does my daughter know you? I'm like man, I'm in a movie, brother. Look, I don't know your kid, OK? But it's really crazy. You know, when I go to church, it's like "Everybody Hates Chris," and, you know, they love that show and then the Old Spice thing has become a phenomenon.
We literally have changed advertising forever. You may not like it, but you'll never forget it.
SAGAL: Right, I just saw one that just came out in which you play yourself about to shave yourself, and you play one of your own hairs.
CREWS: Denzel can't do that. Denzel Washington can't even do that.
SAGAL: You're right. You were actually - you've become, among many other things that we've been discussing, a legitimate action star. You're in the "Expendables" movies.
SAGAL: With Stallone and Schwarzenegger, among many other guys. Did you like compare body-building notes with them?
CREWS: No, you know what? Let me tell you the highlight of my professional life period was to have Arnold, Arnold was on one side of me, and Sly was on the other, and Sly was like look at his arms. His arms are amazing...
CREWS: And Arnold, (unintelligible). Incredible arm definition. And I'm going oh my God, this is the two - these are the reasons why you're working out. Both of these guys launched 10 million workouts, you know what I mean.
SAGAL: But before we go to the game, we have a question. We understand that you have a nickname for yourself.
CREWS: I call myself the Amusement Park. That's because I'm funny and scary at the same time. That's...
CREWS: I like that.
SAGAL: Now I like that, too, but in what context do you use that nickname for yourself?
CREWS: Well, you know, it's funny because I used to use it in auditions, which was crazy, because what they would do. You know, first of all when you're black in Hollywood, you know, your first role is going to be on a crime drama. That's - everybody knows that.
CREWS: It was "CSI: Miami," and I walked in, and I remember looking down at the casting agent like what, what you looking at? And she was like you win, you win, you got it, you got the part.
CREWS: And half of my role, when I started my career, was all intimidation. And then what would happen is I got on the set, and then I would flip it and be funny. And that's where the comedy started coming in, and people started recognizing me as a comedian. So when - I use both as needed, you know what I'm saying. It's one of those things that I realize that was my way in, but what was going to keep me here was the funny. I still do it on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" all the time.
SAGAL: Sure, absolutely. I mean, it's also good - you can use that nickname. You're like - I know you're a happily married man so maybe on a certain evening you might say, feel like a ride on the Amusement Park?
CREWS: No, no, she's used to that game.
SAGAL: That's not going to happen.
BRIAN BABYLON: She's like Terry, get out of here.
CREWS: Yeah, yeah, she's got the lifetime pass.
SAGAL: I understand.
GOLDTHWAIT: How tall do you have to be to get on...?
SAGAL: Well, Terry Crews, we were delighted to talk to you. We've asked you here to play a game we're calling:
CARL KASELL: They've having all you can eat shrimp cocktail buffet on the Lido Deck.
SAGAL: So your name is Crews, but what do you know about cruise ships, the floating behemoths that bring all the comforts of Short Hills, New Jersey, mall to the world's waters?
SAGAL: We're going to ask you three questions about cruise ships. Answer two right, you'll win our prize for one of our listeners, Carl's voice on their home answering machine. Carl, who is actor Terry Crews playing for?
KASELL: Meg McCollister of Waterford, Michigan.
SAGAL: All right, Terry, you ready to play?
BABYLON: She's probably right here.
CREWS: I'm ready.
SAGAL: She's a home girl. First question, the Crystal Cruise cruise ship line out of Japan has a special class of employees. What is their job: A, to stand on fake crows nests, pretending to scan the Caribbean sea for icebergs; B, to dress up really nice and dance with the lonely rich old ladies; or C, to randomly check toilets, wastebaskets, and other receptacles for any sign of intestinal illness breaking out.
CREWS: Wow, that's a tough job. I've got to go with C because there have been so many of those lately. They've got to make sure that, you know, there's no big-time disease about to happen on the ship.
SAGAL: It would make sense, but actually it was B, to dress up nice and dance with the lonely old rich ladies.
AMY DICKINSON: Aw.
SAGAL: They are called ambassador hosts.
CREWS: This is crazy. They're pimping people.
SAGAL: No, they're ambassador hosts. This is a wonderful thing. They're usually retired gentlemen who are excellent dancers. That is the first requirement. And they are supposed provide elegant companionship, conversation and dance for the single ladies. Tipping is optional.
SAGAL: All right, you still have two more chances. You can still win this. It's not only humans who have to endure cruises. Which of these is a real headline that proves cruises aren't safe for any species: A, ghost ship crewed by cannibal rats presumably sunk; B, tragic end to shipboard aquarium as passengers mistake it for sushi buffet; or C, dolphins bruise themselves on cruise ship hulls as they try to flip it up in air?
CREWS: Oh wow, oh, I'm going with A, the ghost ship in and the cannibal rats.
CREWS: That sounds like a winner.
SAGAL: The Western Michigan community agrees with you, and you are all right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: You may remember this was the abandoned ship, this is this old hulk of a ship that got loose from its tow and was floating toward Great Britain in January. Everybody was freaking out because people were speculating that the rats onboard had turned cannibal. This cannibal rat ship was going to hit England.
BABYLON: So are they eating other rats, or you can't - cannibals eat each other, right?
SAGAL: A cannibal rat would presumably eat other rats.
CREWS: Yeah, they're probably eating each other.
DICKINSON: They'd eaten everything else.
SAGAL: A rat eating a human is just a lucky rat.
SAGAL: You've gotten one right with one to go. Last question. While getting violently ill may seem to be the worst thing that can happen on a cruise ship, not to mention falling overboard, one passenger had to deal with something far worse. What was this passenger's complaint to his cruise line: A, that the cruise's standup comedian made jokes about dumb people, and as a dumb person, he was offended; B, that it was too cold and cloudy to get a tan on his cruise to Alaska; or C, that the ship tilted to the right just as he was to finally beat his wife at shuffleboard.
CREWS: Oh, I've got to go - you know what man? People can complain about everything.
SAGAL: This is true.
CREWS: I'm going with B, it's too cold on his trip to - it's too cold to get a suntan.
SAGAL: They like it, and they're behind you, and you're right. That's what the complaint was.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
CREWS: I know people.
BABYLON: I was nervous.
CREWS: People can whine. They do that.
SAGAL: The man complained but all cruises are meant to be hot, that was his logic as to why the...
BABYLON: No, no, Peter, they're meant to be hot, hot, hot.
SAGAL: You can find a list of great complaints made to cruise lines on the internet. One of our other favorites was a woman complained that she went on a Celebrity cruise, and there were no celebrities.
SAGAL: Carl, how did Terry Crews do on our show?
KASELL: He had two correct answers, Peter, so he wins for Meg McCollister of Waterford, Michigan.
SAGAL: Well done, Terry.
CREWS: Waterford in the house.
SAGAL: Yes. Terry, whenever you're here at Western Michigan, you're a winner. Thanks so much for playing.
CREWS: Oh, you - I love you guys, love you WMU.
SAGAL: Terry Crews stars in the Golden Globe Award winning series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and the movie " Single Mom's Club" out now. Terry Crews, thank you so much for joining us.
CREWS: Oh, thank you.
CREWS: Love you guys.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl hops in the Mystery Machine. It's the listener limerick challenge. Call 1-888-WAIT WAIT to join us on air. Support for our Kalamazoo show comes from: Western Michigan University and the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, enrollment and information at med.wmich.edu.
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